My favorite spring mélange is asparagus with morels and fiddleheads. Earthy, sweet, crunchy and creamy flavors that marry perfectly. Morels are conical shaped mushrooms that grow in pine forests, and spring fields after a winter forest fire. Occasionally they grow in my garden, too.
The fiddleheads are tightly coiled ferns that haven’t unfurled yet. The coils push through the soil trapping all sorts of dirt in them. This makes cleaning them a bit of a challenge – I soak them in several changes of water, transforming them from murky brown to bright green. They are rumored to have toxins in them which necessitate a par-boiling.
I prepare the fiddleheads simply: after soaking them in three changes of water, I boil them for 2 minutes in salted water. Let them cool in an ice bath to lock in the bright green color. I then sauté them with olive oil and garlic. I serve them with asparagus or as a side dish for salmon. They have a creamy, nutty and earthy texture and a nice crunch too!
Up next: Asparagus Vichyssoise with Morels and Fiddleheads.